History

St Nicolas Church was built circa 1125. The church building still has two walls and several windows from the original 12th century building and many other interesting features from various dates in history. These include 15th century windows, a 12th century aumbry and the unique 15th century tower.

The church has been extended several times, notably in the 18th and 19th centuries. At the earlier rebuild, some of the stones were carved with the initials of the Rector and his family and one of them is dated 1713. In 1865 a major extension of the church was carried out under the direction of Sir Gilbert Scott. During this work a Norman altar stone was discovered and restored to the altar where it is still in use today.

Of particular note is the 15c wooden bell tower, built on four vertical main posts strengthened with parallel scissor braces, which abuts the main church building. Inside the tower the original medieval staircase to the belfry remains in situ, but is not now used.
 


Surrounding the church is the churchyard which has also been extended several times and includes two Commonwealth War Graves. The enigmatic little house now a major feature of the churchyard was originally outside it. The house, known as The Priest House, was built in the early 16th century probably as a cottage for a paid cleric. After 80 or so years, another cottage was built on the west end and the whole building was used as an almshouse. It had a garden to the east of the house where the residents could grow produce. The local woodlands provided firewood, rushes for lighting and rabbits and birds to eat. With the advent of the union workhouse in Horsham, the house fell into disuse - it was last lived in in the 1860's. With its unaltered features, the house is a unique survival of the type of cottage that must have once been a common sight in the area.

​Our Burial Index can be downloaded here. We plan to also make the Baptism and Marriage indexes available as soon as possible. If you need assistance with your research please contact us.​